Produce Color

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Go Green For The Antioxidant Benefits

Lutein and Indoles are Phytochemicals that are found in many green fruits and vegetables. Their potential antioxidant benefits can help keep your teeth and bones healthy, maintain vision health and lower the risk of some types of cancers.

Cabbage

Contributing Potassium, Folate and Beta Carotene to the diet, half a head of cabbage also contains 70% RDI of Vitamin C!

Cabbage is round in shape with layers of superimposed leaves with the inner leaves often lighter in color than the outer leaves because they are protected from the sunlight. They belong to the Cruciferae family of vegetables along with kale, broccoli, collards and Brussels sprouts.

In Season: Winter — Spring

MarchApril

Trivia

Cabbages were among the first plants to be cultivated. Northern Europe was the starting point for wild cabbage, originally loose leafed like collards.

When introduced to the Mediterranean, Egyptians worshipped cabbage heads as gods, enthroned on elaborate alters.

Cabbage was among the first European plants brought by colonists to the New World where it thrived.

Recipes

Green Apple

Eating 3 grams of soluble fiber a day can help protect against heart disease, and lower cholesterol levels. One large green apple has nearly 5 of grams soluble fiber!

Green Grape

Green grapes contain Phytochemicals that serve as Antioxidants, which are believed to prevent cell damage. Grapes also supply 25% RDI of Vitamin C.

In Season

Green Grape is generally available year-round.

Recipes

Honeydew

High in Potassium, sweet honeydew also has 45% RDI of Vitamin C.

These melons have a sweet, mild and refreshing flavor. For a creative meal idea, try serving a chicken or tuna salad in a half melon. The sweet, refreshing flavors of the melon will be nice contrast to the salty flavor and creamy texture of the salad.

In Season: Summer

June, July, August

Recipes

Peas

A good source of Vitamin A, peas contain the protein Thiamine, as well as Riboflavin, Iron and Potassium. Peas also provide 30% RDI of Vitamin C and a 3.5 ounce serving has only 70 calories.

Fresh peas are a delicious warm weather treat. Not only are they sweet and refreshing, they are a great source of protein. A one cup serving of fresh peas provides more protein than a whole egg or a tablespoon of peanut butter, but contains less than a half gram of fat.

In Season: Summer

JuneJuly

Recipes

Artichoke

Fat free and a good source of Vitamin C, this tasty veggie also contains Cynarin.

In certain respects, the artichoke might be regarded as the vegetable equivalent of lobster. It's somewhat labor-intensive eating, but well worth the effort. The artichoke can be served whole or trimmed down to the heart, which, like the lobster's tail, is often considered the tastiest morsel. Artichokes are harvested year round. The crop peaks in the spring--March through May--and again, to a lesser extent, in October.

In Season: Winter — Spring

MarchApril

Preparation Tips

Dips for artichokes include Hollandaise sauce, plain yogurt blended with Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, light mayonnaise or mayonnaise blended with lemon juice.

For easy stuffed artichokes, spread the leaves (after cooked and cooled). Remove center leaves and scoop out choke. Fill with your favorite chicken or seafood salad.

Trivia

An artichoke is Actually a thistle and a member of the sunflower family. The artichoke itself is a flower bud or immature flower head. The tender bases of the petals and the fleshy heart to which the petals are connected are the edible portions.

Artichokes originated in Sicily and were brought by the French to Louisiana and by Spaniards to California.

Always considered a delicacy, artichokes were popularized by Catherine d'Medici who was married at age 14 to Henry II of France. She was regarded with disdain due to her notorious artichoke appetite in an era when artichokes were a famed aphrodisiac.

Recipes

Asparagus

With 60% RDI of Folic Acid, asparagus is also a great source of vitamins A and C, as well as Folate and Carotenoids.

To keep asparagus fresh, cut 1/2 inch off of the base of the stalk and stand the asparagus upright in an inch of warm water (do not let the tips soak in water!). This will also revive asparagus that looks wilted and limp. For an elegant appetizer or spring salad, steam asparagus, sprinkle with red wine or Balsamic vinegar and refrigerate. When ready to serve, top with chopped toasted almonds.

In Season: Spring, Summer, Winter

May, June, February, March, April

Preparation Tips

To keep asparagus fresh, cut 1/2 inch off of the base of the stalk and stand the asparagus upright in an inch of warm water (do not let the tips soak in water!). This will also revive asparagus that looks wilted and limp.

For an elegant appetizer or spring salad, steam asparagus, sprinkle with red wine or Balsamic vinegar and refrigerate. When ready to serve, top with chopped toasted almonds.

Trivia

Today's asparagus has been bred from wild plants that were native to western and central Asia and central Europe. Asparagus has always been considered a luxury vegetable, highly prized in ancient Rome, Egypt and Greece. In Europe, its popularity flourished under the reign of Louis XIV of France, a devotee who encouraged its production.

Recipes

Avocado

With a healthy content of Folate, avocados are also one of the best sources of heart-healthy Monounsaturated Fat.

Avocados are commonly thought of as vegetables, but they are actually fruits. These delicious creamy fruits are known to be high in fat, however, keep in mind that it is a healthful fat.

In Season: Spring — Summer

May, July, August, April

Preparation Tips

To ripen an avocado, place it in a sealed plastic bag with a ripe banana at room temperature. Another method is to bury the avocado completely in a jar of flour. Do not refrigerate avocados until they are ripe.

Trivia

Avocados date back to 8,000 B.C., and are native to Mexico and Central America.

Until recent years, the avocado had a well-entrenched reputation for inducing sexual prowess and wasn't purchased or consumed by any person wishing to protect their image from slanderous assault. Growers had to sponsor a public relations campaign to dispel the ill-founded reputation before avocados became popular.

Avocados must reach full maturity before they are picked, but they will not soften on the tree. The tree is actually used as a warehouse; the fruit can be kept on the tree for many months after reaching maturity.

Recipes

Broccoli

A good source of Vitamin A, this healthy green veggie is a source of Folate, and supplies 220% recommended daily intake of Vitamin C!

Broccoli is one of the most healthful foods you can eat. It is packed with a rich supply of important vitamins and nutrients and it contains the phytochemical sulforaphane, which helps reduce the risk of cancer. Fresh, in season broccoli should have a crisp texture and clean, refreshing flavor. It is delicious lightly steamed and sprinkled with lemon pepper.

In Season: Spring, Autumn, Winter

May, October, December, January, February, March

Preparation Tips

Don't make the mistake of discarding the broccoli stalk. Even the thickest stalk can be used and is quite delicious. Simply peel the outside skin from the stalk and cook as you would the rest of the broccoli. Cutting the stalks into thin slices and adding to stir-fry makes a great star-shaped addition to the appearance and texture of your meal.

Trivia

Broccoli, a member of the mustard family, was known to early colonists who brought it from Europe where it originated in the wild form around the Mediterranean.

Recipes

Cucumber

Cucumbers contain Folate, Potassium and Terpenes, which are Phytochemicals that stimulate anticancer enzymes. They're a low-calorie source of Vitamin C, too. One-third of a cucumber has only 15 calories.

Cucumbers are a refreshing snack that can be used in a variety of ways. They provide a crisp crunch on a salad or sandwich, and they are delicious dipped in hummus. When choosing a cucumber, find one that is evenly colored with dark skin. If the cucumber is waxed, be sure to remove the skin with a potato peeler before slicing it. Un waxed cucumber can be eaten with or without the skin depending on personal preference. The seeds are also edible, although many people like to remove them.

In Season: Spring — Summer

May, June, July, April

Trivia

The cucumber is an immigrant from southern Asia, coming in a fantastic assortment of sizes, colors and shapes.

Recipes

Green Bean

With Folate and the Phytochemicals coumarin and Quercetin, which are thought to reduce incidences of cancer, green beans are also a good source of Vitamin C, with 10% RDI.

Fresh green beans, a delicious warm weather favorite, are an excellent source of a variety of nutrients, most notably vitamin K (important for maintaining strong bones), with a whopping 122% of the daily value in one cup.

In Season: Spring — Summer

May, June, July, August

Recipes

Green Pepper

Peppers that are deeply green in color contain bioflavonoids and Phenolic Acids. They're also an excellent source of Vitamin C!

Kiwi

A leading source of Potassium, and a good source of Vitamin E, Folic Acid, Copper and Manganese, kiwi is also high in Vitamin C.

For the sweetest, fullest flavor, choose plump, fragrant kiwi fruit that yield to gentle pressure, like ripe peaches. Unripe fruit has a hard core and a tart, astringent taste. If only firm kiwis are available, ripen them for a few days before eating them. Reject shriveled or mushy fruits, or those with bruises or wet spots.

In Season: Summer — Spring

JuneApril

Recipes

Pear

Green pears have 4 grams of dietary fiber, along with Vitamin C and 201 mg of Potassium.

While you are enjoying your crisp fall apples, don't forget that it is pear season too! You won't want to miss the melting texture and syrupy sweet juice of perfect ripe pears! Pears are great for breakfast, lunches and after school snacks. You may even want to try one for dessert.

In Season: Autumn

October, November, December

Preparation Tips

Ripen pears at room temperature in a sealed plastic bag with a couple of ripe bananas. When the pear is ripe, refrigerate until you are ready to eat it.

Trivia

Pears are cousins of apples. American varieties come from Europe, where they migrated from central Asia. Early colonists brought the first trees to America where they thrived until blights became severe. Most pears are now grown west of the Rockies where diseases are less of a problem.

Recipes

Spinach

Spinach contains 70% RDI of Vitamin A, 25% of Vitamin C and 20% of Iron. These are some healthy greens!

Although it will not produce the magical effects that Popeye enjoyed, spinach is most definitely good for you. It is exceptionally rich in carotenoids, including beta-carotene and lutein, and also contains quercetin, a phytochemical with antioxidant properties. Spinach is rich in vitamins and minerals, particularly folate (folic acid), vitamin K, magnesium, and manganese; it also contains more protein than most vegetables.

In Season: Spring

MayApril

Recipes

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